Friday, 19 October 2012

Bosnia & Herzegovina (19 Oct 2012)–Mostar, Blagaj and onwards to Sarajevo

We started our morning at the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over Neretva River and a visit to the Old Bridge Museum. The museum had quite a lot of information on the Old Bridge since its original construction in 1566. The wooden bridge, as it was then, took 9 years to plan and build. Over the years, it was fortified and strengthened. In 1993, the bridge was completely destroyed in the conflict.

The reconstruction of the bridge, which was completed in 2004, followed the same process as the construction in the 16th century. There is a book/souvenir shop near the bridge which had a collection of photos of the bridge at various times during the recent war showing how it was destroyed. There was also a video footage. It is quite sad to watch the video of the bridge being hit many times before finally going down.

The Old Bridge, views to the left and right of the bridge

Walking on the Old Bridge, we met two Malaysian girls who are currently working in the UK. Our first meeting with a Malaysian after travelling so far. We chatted for a bit and exchanged contact details before parting ways. Who knows, maybe we will meet again when we drive through England in December. 

Walking on the Old Bridge

Views of Mostar from the top of the bridge tower which now house the Old Bridge Museum. Bottom left is a building with bullet holes in its walls. We didn’t see many of these buildings in Mostar as most have been restored or reconstructed. When we do come across one, it is a reminder of the recent conflict.

Mostar 4
Walking through the Old Bazar.

Mostar 3
Mostar 5
At Blagaj, Dervish House and source of the River Buna.

Blagaj 1
Early dinner at one of the restaurants along the river. The trout was excellent, the best we’ve had so far.

Clockwise, simply named Trout "Try This" on the menu (comes with pumpkin seeds in lemon sauce, swiss chard, salted potatoes), Bogova Pottage, Drinks, Nutella and Walnut Pancake, Rucola Salad

After our early dinner, we retraced our steps back towards Mostar and took the road north towards Sarajevo. The road (E73) from Mostar to Sarajevo runs alongside the river for the most part of it. The steep slopes of the hills are just inches away from the road. The road is windy in some stretch and we passed through a lot of tunnels (the most tunnels we have been through in a stretch of road.. I was driving and lost count after 7) and a few bridges. The view is one of the best we have seen since starting this journey.

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